Gay rights

Published : Aug 14, 2009 00:00 IST

ALTHOUGH rights may be granted legally, they cannot be enforced unless there is a favourable social climate (Queer politics, July 31). There are enough examples of this: untouchability has been abolished, but Dalits continue to be exploited; child marriage is banned, but on auspicious occasions lots of children get married in the full glare of the media. History proves that criminalising any practice merely drives its practitioners underground.

The matter is complex. Social laws cannot be passed by ignoring religious sentiments when all the major religions are against the granting of gay rights. But we must remember that in 1829 when Raja Ram Mohan Roy, William Carey and others were working to ban the practice of Sati, obscurantist elements sought shelter under the banner of culture and tradition. So, rather than trying to be God and passing judgment, a better option may be to pray for those struggling with their homosexuality and societys largely hostile responses to them.

Siddhartha Shankr Mishra Sambalpur, OrissaBudget 2009

THE Budget is never good for the aam aadmi (Cover Story, July 31). Whatever concessions are given to industry, the benefits are never passed onto the aam aadmi. On the income tax front, the middle class has nothing to cheer about.

Mahesh Kapasi New Delhi* * *

IT appeared that the UPA government was in a dilemma whether or not to experiment with the finances of the nation. However, it played safe and belied the expectations of the business class, the media and the aam aadmi.

Syed Khaja New Delhi* * *

THE Budget marks the shift of the second UPA government from the Common Minimum Programme to a programme of more liberalisation. To infuse new hope into the economy, it is essential to come up with a strategy that is suited to our own requirements of inclusive development instead of borrowing ideas.

Atul Kumar Thakur Ghaziabad* * *

THE Finance Minister must be applauded for presenting a well-balanced Budget, for staying committed to long-term development goals and for not giving in to demands of fiscal accommodation from those affected by the economic recession.

Although the fiscal deficit of 6.8 per cent projected by the Minister is bound to put pressure on interest rates, the innovative approach must be appreciated. While the cumulative effect of the Budget is bound to be inflationary, the governments commitment to inclusive growth will certainly give a much-needed fillip to rural development.

All these measures will take the country to a higher rate of economic growth, generating employment and combating poverty while ensuring that benefits are distributed more evenly.

K.R. Srinivasan Secunderabad* * *

THE Budget is focussed on the advancement of the nation. The Finance Minister deserves applause for doing a great job.

Ippili Santhosh Kumar Srikakulam, A.P.* * *

THE Budget is politically pragmatic but financially weak. Why should the Finance Minister continue to discriminate between men and women with regard to the income tax exemption? It is men who deserve a higher exemption limit. It should have been increased to Rs.200,000 across the board. No allocation was made to promote tourism, which helps the country earn foreign exchange. No measures have been taken to rehabilitate unemployed youth. The withdrawal of the fringe benefit tax will only benefit Shining India, not suffering India.

When the economy is slowing down and the deficit is mounting, how can anyone justify a 79-member jumbo Ministry? Why should we spend Rs.500 crore for Sri Lankan Tamils? There was no natural calamity. If Sri Lanka can spend money to wage war, it should be capable of spending money for rehabilitation also. India is spending scarce money for political mileage. The government should undertake some austerity measures.

S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, Kerala* * *

IN the best of times, Finance Ministers have found it difficult to produce a please all Budget. These are not easy times. Given these circumstances, Pranab Mukherjee has done an excellent job.

J. Akshay SecunderabadSection 377

THIS is with reference to the article Defining moment (July 31). We should keep in mind that the development of the human organism is an ongoing process. Homosexuality or sexuality is individualistic in nature. Law and religion should not come into the picture.

R.N. Agarwal Bikaner, Rajasthan* * *

GAYS and lesbians violate the sexual rights of normal females and males and, in many ways, harm the existence of the human race. Since, if all men and women decide to be gays and lesbians, the human species would be wiped out in a few decades. Hence, in the larger interest of human beings, gays should be treated as patients with genetic and psychiatric disorders.

A.T.M. Anwar Hyderabad* * *

THE article provided an insightful analysis of the Delhi High Courts judgment. There is a need for deliberation by different sections of society on this issue and, on the basis of a consensus, a new law can be enacted or Section 377 can be suitably amended.

H. Syed Madani Tiruchi, Tamil NaduDiscrimination

DENYING members of certain communities entry into temples is a social sin and a criminal offence (No entry, July 31). The survey report brought out by the non-governmental organisation Evidence makes one think. If Dalit votes are essential to politicians at election time, why are Dalits purposely being denied entry into temples and churches? Dalits should be able to enjoy all the fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

B.P. Pereira Madurai, Tamil Nadu* * *

IT is a very sad state of affairs that even after 62 years of Independence, Dalits face discrimination in places of worship. In the then Travancore State, a simple Temple entry proclamation opened temples to all. It shows the lack of will on the part of the Tamil Nadu government to enforce the laws against untouchability.

A. Jacob Sahayam ThiruvananthapuramBJP

IN Macaulay and Dr M.M. Joshi (July 17), A.G. Noorani refutes a quote that Joshi attributed to Macaulay. To me, the quote, even if it is imaginary, has a profound element of truth. The spirit of sanatana dharma is not appreciated in present times. Governments may one day repent the fact that they totally discard our ancient wisdom.

T.K. Sheshadri MysoreVandalismB.S. Shah Malegaon, MaharashtraLalgarh

THE article Lalgarh battle (July 3) is an eye-opener. The basic rights of the downtrodden should be taken into consideration before any plans are drawn up for their uplift. Narrow political considerations should be ignored, failing which people will be attracted to other groups.

G.L. Panchashrit Reddy Nizamabad, A.P.Higher education

THE Cover Story on deemed universities (University Inc., July 17) brought into the open the problems in higher education.

You are right in saying that the scanner must extend to other institutions. Many State universities are also devoid of basic human and material resources. I hope Kapil Sibal will be able to clean the education system to some extent so that future generations get education of better quality.

Sheojee Gopalganj, Bihar* * *

THE article Producing priests ( July 17) caught my attention for the writers lack of clarity and bias. The articles focus is unclear. Is it against the lack of oversight in the process of granting accreditation to institutes teaching vastu shastra, yoga, jyotir vigyan and karma kanda as part of the general discussion on the credentials of deemed and private universities? Is the author attacking the westernisation and rampant consumerism of Indian society? Or, is the author attacking the general validity of the Vedic subjects taught in those institutions?

The reason for the articles scattered focus is that the author is not interested in the issues of accreditation, the potential trivialisation of spiritual practices, the growing consumer orientation of society, or the quality of education of spiritual practitioners; rather she has personal, atheistic biases to promote.

Peter Beacham Ottawa, CanadaLeft setback

THIS is with reference to Praful Bidwais Column (Back to basics, July 17). The causes of the defeat of the Left parties are very clear. Among the reasons that come to my mind at once are the Lefts alienation from the masses since about 2006; the ousting of Somnath Chatterjee; the abrupt withdrawal of its support to the UPA government (on the civilian nuclear deal issue) and the failure to explain successfully the reason behind this action to the masses; and inadequate propagation of the defects of the nuclear deal.

Tathagata Ghosh KolkataANNOUNCEMENT

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